News in Brief 18 January 2016 (AM)

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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano briefs the press following release of his report on 16 January 2016, confirming that Iran has completed necessary preparatory steps to start the implementation of a plan of action aiming to resolve the nuclear issue. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma

Iran and UN nuclear agency to strengthen cooperation

Relations between the UN's nuclear energy watchdog (IAEA) and Iran "are now entering a new phase," the agency's chief has said.

It follows the lifting of international sanctions against the country this past weekend in line with a deal reached in July 2015.

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was in Tehran on Monday where he met with Iran's Vice-President who is also Chairman of the country's atomic energy organization.

He said cooperation between the UN agency and Iran will be further strengthened.

UN mission regrets delay in announcing Libya unity government

Political leaders in Libya are being urged by the United Nations to adhere to a new timeline for announcing the formation of the country's unity government.

A peace deal reached in mid-December called for the Government of National Accord to be established within a 30-day period.

The deal, known as the Libyan Political Agreement, aims to end four years of fighting between the country's two opposing governments.

However, the Presidency Council, formed under the terms of the agreement, has released a statement saying the decision to announce the unity government has been postponed by 48 hours.

While regretting the delay, the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has urged the body to stick to the new target date.

UNSMIL also called for all sides to ensure that timelines outlined in the political agreement are respected.

New health centre for emergencies and polio in Eastern Mediterranean

The World Health Organization (WHO) has opened a new centre in Amman, Jordan, to respond to medical emergencies as well as polio in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The region consists of 22 countries, with Iraq, Syria and Yemen among them.

With two-thirds of countries either experiencing conflict or affected by conflict, WHO says the number of people needing basic health services as a result of emergencies is "unprecedented."

Meanwhile, the UN agency continues to strive for the final eradication of polio in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

They are the only countries in the world where the disease remains endemic.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2'10"

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